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Spiritual Life Means Unlimited Pleasure

Sometimes we think spiritual life means something very dry and cumbersome, however Srila Prabhupada explains that spiritual life is actually full of enjoyment.

Food offered to Krishna in one of early Hare Krishna temples

In the Vedic literature you will find that God has expanded Himself into many, just like the father expands himself into many children. The children is nothing but expansions of the body of the father. Similarly, we, all living entities, spiritual parts or living souls, we are also expansion of the supreme spirit. Now, the reason is, why the supreme spirit soul expanded himself into so many? What is the purpose? We have to understand. Now you can take the example. What is the purpose of father's expanding himself into children? A father takes the responsibility of maintaining the children. Why? Why he takes such, I mean, a grave responsibility, a family man. That "why" is answered -- just to have happy and enjoyable life. That's all.

Similarly, God has expanded into so many living entities because He wants enjoyment. He wants enjoyment. Because you will find in the Vedic literature that the nature of God is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. Anandamayo 'bhyasat: (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12)"By nature He is enjoying." So we must understand that God has expanded Himself into so many living entities just for His enjoyment. Now, we are meant for... Just like sons, children are meant for satisfying the father, similarly this is a common sense affair, that we living entities, we are meant for satisfying the Supreme. That satisfaction of the Supreme can be done by performance of yajna. That is the beginning.

So here it is prescribed that yajnarthat karmanah anyatra [Bg. 3.9]. That is... We have discussed. Yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih [Bg. 3.13]. If we perform sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Supreme, then the result will be that we shall be free from all reaction of our sinful life. And if we do not do that, bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat. Atma-karanat means simply for his own sense gratification.

Now, that yajna, I have... Several times before you I have explained. Asnati. Asnati means one who eats. So our yajna begins from the eating, because eating is the first item of the necessity of our life. Eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating. Now, eating is essential. So here in the Bhagavad-gita openly speaks that just control your eating process in the yajna. Just begin your karma-yoga from the eating formula. Then, gradually, other things will develop.

Because our senses... There are so many senses. We have got the eyes, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the hand, the leg, and so many. We have got ten, ten senses, sensory organs and working organs. So these organs there are. Out of all the organs, the tongue is the most uncontrollable organ, tongue. When we eat... Perhaps those devotees who eat with us, we chant this, that sarira abidya-jal jodendriya tahe kal: "This body is the encagement of our nescience, of our ignorance. And in that body the senses are our greatest enemies. Out of that, the tongue is the most powerful enemy." Ta'ra madhye jihwa ati lobhamoy sudurmati. Lobhamoy sudurmati. Because tongue is always hankering after palatable things, and it is making me bound up in so many reactions of my life... That is the secret.

Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gita, in the beginning, the karma-yoga begins with the tongue. Yajna-sistasinah santah. We have to eat. Now, we have to control the tongue first. How we can control the tongue? By offering sacrifice. By offering, we have to take foodstuff for maintaining our body. Now, if we offer the foodstuff, preparing to the Lord, that is called yajna. Yajna is not very difficult thing. You are preparing foodstuff for eating at your home. You have simply to prepare that foodstuff in a nice way so that you can offer to Krsna. That's all. Your process of eating or your process of securing ingredients for eating, or your cooking, nothing is stopped. Only, only thing is required that instead of cooking for yourself for the satisfaction of your tongue, you please cook it for satisfaction of Krsna. And take the prasadam afterwards.

Now, take for example the other day we had some feasting. We cooked it nicely and offered Krsna, and then you took. What was the difficulty there? Was there any difficulty? So many gentlemen, you are present here who partook of that prasadam. How nicely it was prepared and how we enjoyed. So is yajna a very difficult thing? So it is not at all difficult. Simply we have to adopt the principles. That's all. And if we adopt that principle... Here it is clearly said that yajna-sistasinah santah. Santa means these things are arranged by pious men and devotees of the Lord. Ordinary men, they don't care: "What is this nonsense yajna? Let us go to the hotel and take to our palatable things." You see? That is another thing. But those who are serious about solving the problems of life, let them take to this yajna principle. Is it very difficult? Not at all. It is rather pleasurable.

What do you think. Mr. Green? You were also present that day. Did you not like?

Green: Oh, yes.

Prabhupada: So yajna is not difficult. Now, if by doing that yajna, if we become free from all reactions, then why should we not do it? Why should we not do it? There is no difficulty. There is no question of difficulty. Rather, it is a thing of pleasure, ananda. The whole thing is ananda. Ananda means pleasure. Enjoyment. Spiritual life does not mean that void of enjoyment, no. It is full of enjoyment. We are seeking after enjoyment, but that enjoyment is hampered by our material existence. We do not know. We are trying to squeezing out the senses and trying to have material pleasure. This is nonsense because we do not know what is spiritual life. Spiritual life means unlimited, unlimited pleasure.

Bhagavad-gita 3.13-16 -- New York, May 23, 1966

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